The Bank of Italy’s governor is facing government pressure to resign. Antonio Fazio has been at the centre of a scandal over his handling of a take-over battle. On Friday, the government approved measures limiting his powers, now Finance Minister Domenico Siniscalco has unequivocally asked the governor to go.
With Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi present, he said Fazio should resign to restore the bank’s reputation adding that he had expected him to quit after reforms to the bank were announced. The changes included limiting the term of future bank governors to seven years though those measures do not apply to Fazio who has an open ended mandate. They are also meant to create more transparency. Fazio has faced accusations that he favoured Italian companies over foreign rivals during take-over attempts. The 68 year old who was nominated to the post in 1993 says he has done nothing wrong. The government cannot force Fazio out, but now it has officially withdrawn its support for the governor, the question now is, will he take the advice and leave?